March 15, 2021 - - PO box 2143, Vero Beach, FL 32961

President's Corner
Jonnie Mae Perry
Women Who Rock Awards 2021
March 23rd --11:30am to 1pm

History is full of unsung female heroes.  So, at weVENTURE WBC, we believe it is important to elevate women who are who breaking barriers and inspiring others through their work and leadership. We believe in celebrating Women Who Rock today to inspire the female leaders of tomorrow.  

This annual awards program honors hard-working, deserving women and local businesses who prioritize diversity in their leadership ranks. This annual celebration in honor of Women's History Month is part of our mission to be the leading voice and resource for professional women on the Space and Treasure coasts. 

The categories are:
  • Excellence in Mentorship
  • Female Small Business Owner of the Year
  • Women in the Workplace Champion
  • Dr. Mary Helen McCay STEM Award
  • Zonta Yellow Rose Award of Excellence in Community Service (NB: Jonnie Mae Perry, our VB AAUW branch president, has been nominated for this category)

The response to our call for nominations was absolutely unbelievable. 65 women were nominated - our most EVER! weVENTURE WBC will recognize all the nominees on social media leading up to the March 23rd virtual event. Theme inspired by the Oscars, the program will highlight the nominees for each category before the winner is revealed live! 

Read more at weRock link

Diversity in Women's History Month
Crystal Morris

In March, our country recognizes and celebrates Women’s History Month. This time is set aside to acknowledge the gains women have made to getting fair and equal treatment as to be female is not an illness but an asset to unlocking innovations that won’t present themselves in an all-male environment. Shirley Chisholm said, “tremendous amounts of talent are being lost to our society just because that talent wears a skirt.”

Now and Then

In 2021, we see women represented in all spaces, even in the top echelons of government, with the country’s first female Vice President, Kamala Harris. However, we did not get here overnight. Female representation came at the expense of a long, arduous fight. It is essential to continually look back to see what lessons we can glean from the experiences of those who came before us so as not to repeat them. In 1848 Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the Women’s Convention at Seneca Falls, NY. In attendance was Frederick Douglas, a former slave turned social reformer, to show his support of women having the right to equal access to education and voting as their male counterparts. There was a shared resentment of White men’s exclusionary practices in this country, so an alliance was forged between Black male and female abolitionists and the suffragettes. That coalition took a massive hit after the passing of the 15th amendment, where Black men got the right to vote. Stanton and another prominent member of the women’s movement, Susan B. Anthony, were not silent in their opposition to the amendment. Stanton is quoted as saying, “Think of Patrick and Sambo and Hans and Yung Tung, who do not know the difference between a monarchy and a republic, who cannot read the Declaration of Independence or Webster’s spelling book, making laws for…Susan B. Anthony."


These racist infused sentiments were always present, but like most unconscious bias, it remains dormant until the individual faces stress that allows their unconscious thoughts to surface uninhibitedly. This explains why we see the women's suffrage movement claiming victory in 1920 when states ratified women’s legal right to vote, but Black women not getting that privilege until the 1960s. There were two different definitions of gaining equal access for women. One was held by White women who saw the goal as White women getting access to voting rights, and one was held by Women of Color who saw the dream as all women, no matter their race and ethnic background, having the right to vote.

So this is where the rubber meets the road. What do we take away from the actions of our foremothers? If we could go back, what advice would we give? What action would we stand against? What wrong would we make right? Sojourner Truth said, “If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right side up again.” Individually, our affinity groups can make a change, but collectively as women with a shared mindset, we can transform the culture of the environments we inhabit. We are not the sum total of our racial identity, and we have so much more that connects us than that which divides us.

Call to Action

Another suffrage movement presents itself to us today. Though it is not a new one, many are new to the conversation. Racial inequities and injustice are present in 2021, the same way they were in the early 19th century. Instead of lynching people by having their lifeless bodies dangle from trees, they are now being knelt on while others look unbothered because this is the norm. This system accepts the continued dehumanization of black bodies. But I see an opportunity for women to truly unite for the cause of equal and just treatment for all. The passion that burned in the women of yesteryear led them to burn buildings and march in the streets burns in our veins today. This is not a call to action to burn buildings but a call to action to act. Engage in open and transparent dialogue to learn a new version of history that the United Daughters of the Confederacy was successful at keeping out of books that made their way to classrooms and libraries. Reflect on what your thoughts are on equality, justice, and goodness and see whose face appears. Do they all look like you? Can angels be Black, unlike the depictions that we see on our television screens where they are primarily white? Then, speak. Speak out against the injustices that you see today that you weren’t aware of last year.

I’ll end with another quote. Ayn Rand said, “The question isn’t who’s going to let me. It’s who is going to stop me.” My sincerest hope is that you will realize, if you choose, to see yourself as unstoppable.
Opportunities to Make a Difference
Can I help our chapter without being a board member?

So glad you asked! Board membership is not required to assist with single projects for membership, programs and media committees. Emails, paper mailings and public relations are some of the duties we need assistance with next year. If you can help, please contact one of the following board members:

Jonnie Mae Perry 772-985-7573
Carole Strauss 772-532-4712
Gail DeGioia 772-321-9156
When you shop on Amazon, please use Smile-- 
At no extra cost, you'll generate donations for Vero Beach AAUW
AAUW-FL Leadership Conference
and Annual Meeting
Women Together
in the Sunshine State

Friday, April 16 

4:30 pm to 5 pm Zoom Sign-in 

Zoom rules reviewed. Social time

5 pm to 6 pm Time to Share 
• Video: View a medley of statewide branch contributions of photos and accomplishments to demonstrate how women came together to overcome the many hurdles of 2020 and COVID-19.

Named Gift Awards: Ellen Roche, AAUW FL Director for Development 
Presentation of awards to honorees selected by their branches. Branches earn this privilege based on the level of financial contributions made by the branch to AAUW National.
5 pm to 6 pm Keynote Speaker Topic: “Adapting to New Challenges”

Janet E. Petro, Deputy Director, NASA, Kennedy Space Center. Graduate, U.S. Military Academy West Point Topic: “Adapting to New Challenges”

Saturday, April 17

9:30 am to 10:30 am Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

Moderator: Jonnie Mae Perry, Chair, AAUW FL Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

• Key elements of AAUW National’s DEI Toolkit will be explored, including the 16 dimensions of diversity and the meaning of “intersectionality.” – Erin Conn, Member, AAUW DEI Committee, and Melissa Ingram, Member, AAUW DEI Committee, DEI Toolkit Developer. (You’re encouraged to check out DEI resources and the toolkit before the conference.)
• How the Lake Sumter branch used DEI resources for a series of programs, including “How to Start Difficult Conversations.” – Linda Carpenter, Co-chair DEI Committee, Lake Sumter

11 am to Noon Economic Security 

Moderators: Ellen Roche, AAUW FL Director for Development and Kay Lee-Smith, AAUW FL Director for Public Policy 
The essentials of women’s economic security
• Women face economic downturn during COVID-19 pandemic. Barbara Ritter, Dean, Davis College of Business, Jacksonville University
• Important elements in defining financial literacy for women today. – Laura Mattia, Certified Financial Planner. 
• Review of current policy issues before the Florida Legislature. – Lori Berman, State Senator, Florida’s 31st District.

Sunday, April 18

9:30 am to 10:30 am Shared 2020 Successes
Moderator: Bea Holt, AAUW FL Director for Program 
View a compilation of 5-minute video presentations created by branches to demonstrate how they used leadership skills and innovative ideas to overcome the obstacles presented in 2020 amidst the worldwide pandemic.

11 am to Noon Annual Meeting 

Presiding Officer: Patricia DeWitt, President, AAUW Florida 
Meet nominated slate of officers; review proposed bylaws changes; hear pros and cons of proposed changes in membership requirements.

Member Spotlight
      Jane Howard

Creativity Advocate

If you support the arts, you support theater, music, film, painting, all of it. I’m especially grateful when students tell me, “Those trips I took with you changed my life.” 

Jane Howard is a creativity advocate. She’s proof that “Art is the ‘awe’ experience in life. You’re never too old to stop being creative.”

As a child, she gravitated toward painting first. “My work could be seen in public spaces, including a huge blue devil mascot painted on the wall in the high school gym.

At Murray State University in Kentucky, she earned a B.S. in Fine Arts and an M.A. in Arts Education.

“I learned that I loved talking with creative people about the cultural implications of their work. As a college professor and head of the Visual Arts Department at IRSC, I took students all over the state to major museums, trying to expand horizons. With two colleagues, I co-founded the Interior Design Department and helped grow the (Lifelong Learning) initiative for the college. My title became Professor Emerita of Arts and Humanities. Now I’m just plain Jane.”

Life's a Trip--or 75!

Her expertise in art history led her to plan student trips to the locations they learned about. When Jane retired to be an independent travel agent, she’d been to over 75 countries. For each tour, she was required to teach a class, create the travel group, register the college credits and sign a release that made her responsible for all decisions about the trip.

“I knew it was worth it on the first day of each trip. Our African safari and stay in Great Britain and exchanging our home in Switzerland stand out for me. I love Rome, Greece, New Zealand. One of my greatest challenges was walking with the lions in Africa where they let me pet two 1800-lb lions. I have the photo to prove it.”

Renaissance Woman

Today, she and her husband manage their own design company. “Design touches everything. In my work, I demonstrate how it’s not always the top person that’s the only great one in a creative effort. You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with.”

Her deep background in the arts has brought her speaking engagements for the IRSC speaker’s bureau, Life Long Learning, the Norton Gallery, Uffizi gallery, the Prado Museum and Florida State University. In addition to acting as juror for Under the Oaks and other art shows, Jane’s work has been featured at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Emerson’s Foyer Gallery, Lighthouse Gallery and Gallery 14. She’s written about her endeavors for Vero’s Voice magazine and served as a Board Member for the Vero Beach Art Museum. A lifetime member of the Association of Florida Colleges, she has maintained an interest in the Global Initiatives programs, creating a State College Commission to study the economic impact of global connections and education throughout the world.

Between Hee Haw and Elvis

Her husband’s family is one of Vero Beach’s founding families. “I personally am an import, and my claim to fame is that I was born in Paris, TN, halfway between Hee Haw and Elvis. Davy Crockett slept in my bedroom when my great grandfather, who fought in the War of 1812, lived there. Crockett’s home was in Nashville, and he stayed with our family when he traveled. Andrew Jackson came to visit once, according to family lore.

“My step-mother was one of the founders of the Vero Beach chapter of the AAUW. I’m a long-time member and contributed to publishing our Chapter’s book, Women’s Words.”

“Maya Angelou was the most charismatic woman I ever met. She came to town to speak, and I was privileged to be invited back stage. She had something not a lot of people have. Her greatness was obvious.

I’ve dedicated my life to emphasizing how important arts education is and what would happen if we let it slip away.

Art is not something you do, it’s something you are.
--Interviewer/Author: Elaine Spooner
Women in Science: Tu Youyou
Pharmaceutical chemist Tu Youyou's discovery of a new malaria treatment has saved millions of lives.
Tu, who studied traditional Chinese and herbal medicines, found a reference in ancient medical texts to using sweet wormwood to treat intermittent fevers -- a symptom of malaria.

Tu and her research team were able to extract a malaria-inhibiting substance called artemisinin (or qinghaosu in Chinese) from wormwood. She even volunteered to be the first human subject to test the substance. Since her discovery of artemisinin in the 1970s, antimalarial drugs based on the substance have saved millions of lives.

Tu is now chief scientist at the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine -- a position she reached without a medical degree, a PhD, or research training abroad. She won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her discovery, which has been deemed "arguably the most important pharmaceutical intervention in the last half-century" by the Lasker Foundation for medical research.

(NB: YouYou's accomplishments were due not to academic credentials, but to her grit, determination and ground-breaking work. At the Florida AAUW annual meeting (featured below), members will sign in and vote whether to drop the current minimum 2 year degree requirement for membership.)
Photo: yang wuminzxinua/ap
Community Connections

Meet Crossover Mission, Inc.

In our county, over half of the students in the public school system are eligible for free and reduced lunches due to low family income; there are thousands of under-served children.

Crossover Mission is a locally founded 501 c3 nonprofit organization which helps the kids who need us most to become successful adults through a program of year-round basketball and one-to-one academic mentoring. Our vision is to provide an affordable, year-round program for children who otherwise would not have one. Crossover kids often live in difficult family situations and are surrounded by violence and drug abuse. We provide them with structure, values and support through academic and athletic programming.

Crossover currently serves over 70 youth, ages 8-18. While the majority in our program are boys, about ten percent have always been girls - 10 girls are currently active in the program, some of whom are outstanding basketball players. We recognize the unique challenges girls face and we are expanding with a new director for our girls’ program and by applying for grants this fall.

What will the future look like? Crossover Mission is in the process of buying and renovating a former citrus packing house at 4425 US Rt. 1 and we hope to continue to expand our program to serve as many as possible -- boys and girls.

Submitted by Dr. Anna V. Copeland (ed. note: Dr. Copeland presented at our November Book Review Breakfast in November)

What's up With Kids?
 We all know that one interested adult
can make a tremendous difference
in the confidence of a child
who struggles to succeed.
Big Brothers Big Sisters, our partner youth tutoring/mentoring program primarily focused on children in K-5 on school campuses, is currently accepting applications for new BIGS (adult tutors). The process requires paperwork, an interview, and a Level 2 background check to work with children.
As of this writing, BBBS has still not been invited back into the schools for face to face school-based tutoring once a week. Schools have been limiting volunteers on school campuses. Nevertheless, Bigs are meeting with their Littles on Zoom and some are very comfortable with that platform until next fall. 
A second category of BBBS service is “Community BIGS," which does not meet on a school campus. Some of these Bigs are meeting face to face if the family, the child and mentor are comfortable with that arrangement. Community Bigs are sometimes paired with elementary, middle school, or older children. Littles may remain connected with BIGS who have been paired in the program, sometimes lasting throughout high school. 

If you would like more information, please contact Chris Ryall at or 772-231-2591.
Submitted by Dr. Chris Ryall  


Season Fundraiser postponed

Mah Jong: Play the New Card April 9th
Bent Pine Golf Club

Saturday, April 17th (date corrected)

Election Installation
Results of Interest Survey
Plans for 2021-2022 season

Put in Your Two Cents

We're planning next year's speakers, activities and interest groups and would love your input! Please phone, text or email your thoughts and ideas:

Carole Strauss: 772-532-4712 Gail DeGioia: 772-321-9156
Kathy Martin: 908-334-3648

--Submitted by Carole Strauss
It's That Time Again--Please Renew Now
Contact Information:  
Name:   __________________________________________________________________________________________ 
Last                                                                    First                                           Preferred Title (Dr, Mrs, Ms, ) 
                        Street/PO Box  
           City                                               State                                                        Zip 
Phone:  ____________________________________ /______________________________________________________ 
                        Home                                                                                        Cell 
Email:  ___________________________________________________________________________________________ 
                 An active email is vital for correspondence; if you have no email, please tell us how to best get information to you. 
Are you a full time Florida resident?    Yes______  No______ (Months in FL______________to__________________) 
Check if:   Life member _____ or Honorary Life member ______  
TOTAL DUES   $101 ($84 tax deductible) 
 National $62, State $12, Vero Beach Branch $25, Mailing fee $ 2: $__________________________
 NOTE: Life members (Dues $39) -- Honorary Life members (dues $0) 
Magnet NAME TAG (opt.) $12.00 Name for tag: __________________________ $_________________________

 Local Program Fund (includes scholarships for IRSC and LPN) $_________________________
National’s Greatest Needs Fund (9110 Fund) $__________________________
TOTAL $__________________________

To pay by check: make Check payable to AAUW Vero Beach Branch and mail check with this Renewal Form to AAUW Vero beach, P.O. Box 2143 Vero Beach, Fl. 32961 
To pay and/or donate online: Go to
Sneak Preview--New Mission Graphic
(N.B. Graphic is subject to changes by the board; will update)
Submitted by Linda Barker
About Books
Please DON'T FORGET our
Little Free Libraries. Preschool books
needed at these locations (Click one for a map):

You can help make a difference!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Community Link--Hope for Families Center is requesting children’s books for their New Library, a place to donate both older and younger children’s books. 
Submitted by Martha Kucinsky
Written by author Meena Harris (Vice President Kamala Harris' niece) and illustrated by Marissa Valdez, Ambitious Girl tells the story of discovery through past, present, and future about the challenges faced by women and girls and the ways in which they can reframe, redefine, and reclaim words meant to knock them down.

'Til We Meet Again
HOTLINE Submissions
Due before April 5th to
Subject: HOTLINE

Thank you!!!

--Hotline Editor, Dee Sattler
--Final Editor, Elaine Spooner